NOW:53122:USA01012
http://widgets.journalinteractive.com/cache/JIResponseCacher.ashx?duration=5&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdata.wp.myweather.net%2FeWxII%2F%3Fdata%3D*USA01012
30°
H 30° L 19°
Cloudy | 7MPH

Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

2012 Elmbrook School District election picks: Meg Wartman & Jean Lambert

2012, 4-K, Brookfield, Elmbrook, Education, TAXES

Everyone in the Elmbrook School District votes for both school board races, regardless of where you live in the district. The School Board races are on the back side of your ballot!

Read more

Elmbrook Candidate Forum & District 7 Info meeting: Thursday, March 22, 2012

2012, 4-K, Brookfield, City of Brookfield, Elections, Elmbrook, Special events

There are 2 important meetings in Brookfield this week, unfortunately, both are on the same day: Thursday, March 22nd at 7pm.

The Elmbrook Board of Education Candidate Forum takes place at 7pm at the Elmbrook Administrative Offices at 13780 Hope Street in Brookfield. (From Capitol Drive, take Lilly north a few blocks to Hope Street. The Administration building is just east of the intersection.)

This is a great opportunity to learn about the 4 candidates running for the 2 board positions on the ballot. Incumbents Jean Lambert and Meg Wartman will face opponents Paul Byrne and Lynne Thomas, respectively, on April 3rd.

Though I am a supporter of both Jean Lambert and Meg Wartman, I do plan on attending the Candidate Forum to get a better sense of each candidate's position on important issues such as 4K, school closings, and open enrollment.

Remember, all voters in the Elmbrook School District vote for both the At-Large and Area IV seat candidates, regardless of where you live in the district. Look for a future posting on my findings.

Elmbrook incumbents face challenges

Also on Thursday is a Brookfield District 7 Info Meeting at City Hall, from 7-8pm. (Now this is the meeting I would much rather attend!)

This meeting is hosted by District 7 Aldermen Lisa Mellone and Renee' Lowerr. I call these two Aldermen my Dynamic Duo. They really do a great job of informing their constituents here in the southeast corner of Brookfield through info meetings such as this one and by working closely with neighborhoods and developers to ensure a better outcome. Underwood Crossing--Target & Trader Joe's, would be a good example of this process. No doubt, they will give an update on Trader Joes that just made its way through the Plan Commission on Monday.

At this particular meeting, Fire Chief Meyers will give a short presentation and answer your questions on the Automatic Aid Agreement with the City of New Berlin that would improve response times for our area. (Response time to our area decreased significantly when the fire station on Moorland was moved to Calhoun Road.)

Aldermen Lisa Mellone and Renee' Lowerr invite you to attend or contact them with your questions, comments, or concerns:
Lisa Mellone (262)-780-0805 or email lisa@betterbrookfield.com

Read more

Encouraged to hear he "already voted for Kormanik"

4-K, Elmbrook, Education

I passed out a few fliers for Nancy Kormanik to Brookfield residents at church today. They were all well received.

But as I approached a couple from Elm Grove, I did wonder how they would react to Nancy's candidacy--after all, closing schools is definitely on the table. The wife set my mind at ease when she looked at the flier and said, Oh, my husband already voted [absentee] for this Kormanik. He read about her in the paper and thought she was the best choice. I am going to vote for her on Tuesday. We think we should close some of our schools.

So they had come to that conclusion entirely on their own.

Another person I correspond with via email from time to time originally said they were voting for Wilson because they didn't think a write-in would win. Yesterday, they emailed again to tell me they changed their minds...they were voting for Kormanik.

I spoke with a few neighbors; they reacted very positively too. One man said he was going to take a few fliers to the gym to share with his buddies.

That is how grassroots efforts work, so I am encouraged.

Make a few calls. Send out some emails. Print a few fliers to give out. Talk to your friends and neighbors, and be sure to VOTE on Tuesday!

How to Write-In candidate Nancy Kormanik
April 5, 2011 Elmbrook School Board Ballot Picks: Brunner & Kormanik
Guest Posting 2: Nancy Kormanik on ENROLLMENT
Guest Posting: Nancy Kormanik Fiscal Conservative
Conservatives, you now have a real choice:Write-In Nancy Kormanik
What? Families who HAVE 4K petition to join Elmbrook WITHOUT 4K?
 

Read more

Guest Posting 2: Nancy Kormanik on ENROLLMENT

4-K, Elections, Elmbrook, Education, TAXES

This is the second and last guest posting by Nancy Kormanik

Read more

April 5, 2011 Elmbrook School Board Ballot Picks: Brunner & Write-In Kormanik (Yes, that was Brunner! UPDATE)

4-K, Education, Elections, Elmbrook

UPDATES: See brown text sections below.

Read more

Guest Posting: Nancy Kormanik Fiscal Conservative

4-K, Elmbrook, Elections, Education, Conservatives

Recently, I asked Nancy Kormanik if she would write a guest posting for my blog. After all, who better to speak for Nancy Kormanik than Nancy Kormanik!
 

Read more

How to Write-In candidate Nancy Kormanik for AT-LARGE School Board Member & Flier

Elmbrook, Elections, 4-K, Conservatives

On Friday, I stopped in at City Hall to get a sample ballot. While there, I noticed some people were voting absentee--before candidate fliers have gone out. There is also some confusion as to how to vote for someone as a write-in candidate. I hope this posting clears that up.

Read more

Nancy Kormanik to participate in Elmbrook Candidate Forum, Monday, March 21, 7pm

4-K, Elmbrook, Elections, TAXES, Special events

Just a reminder here, Monday, March 21st, at 7pm, there will be an Elmbrook Board of Education Candidate Forum, at the Central Administrative Offices at 13780 Hope Street in Brookfield.

What you might not know, is that Nancy Kormanik, the Write-In candidate for the At-Large position, will participate in that school board candidate forum, along with the other 5 candidates running for the 3 seats.

I encourage you to be there and get to know the views of each candidate.

The election is April 5th. All Elmbrook residents vote for ALL 3 BOARD POSITIONS: Area 1, 3, and At-Large, regardless of what area of the district we live in.

Read more

Write-In Nancy Kormanik files for Elmbrook School Board Election April 5

4-K, Elections, Elmbrook

April 5th's Elmbrook School Board election just got more interesting: Nancy Kormanik filed as a Write-In candidate on Tuesday for the At Large position on the board.

Nancy Kormanik will run against Pro 4K Sandra Schultz and incumbent Kathryn Wilson. (Kathryn was against 4K in last year's election, then a month ago stated Pro 4K support, reversing her previous position. On March 4, she indicated her vote would probably be no 4K for now.) All of this public support of 4K occurred AFTER the candidate filing deadline, hence, the Nancy Kormanik Write-In campaign.

You may recall I mentioned Nancy Kormanik before. She spoke at the February 22 School Board meeting against implementing 4K: "Nancy Kormanik, spoke against 4K, saying that taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for a program that isn't mandatory. Kormanik, I found out, was a teacher at MATC."

I made a point to speak with Nancy Kormanik after that meeting and found that we have very similar views. She is someone who won't waffle on her 4K position; she is solidly against it.

Nancy Kormanik is also an educator, which I think is a valuable perspective to have on the School Board. She is fiscally conservative.

So Conservatives, you now have a real choice....Write-In Nancy Kormanik.

I will be posting more information about Kormanik in the days to come. In the meantime, if you have a question for Nancy Kormanik, you may contact her directly at  NANCY.KORMANIK@gmail.com or email me directly at PracticallySpeaking@gmail.com

Read more

What? Families who HAVE 4K petition to join Elmbrook WITHOUT 4K?

4-K, Elmbrook, Education, TAXES

How often do we hear that the Elmbrook School District NEEDS to implement 4K to protect our property values? I have even heard it from a school board member, but I don't believe it is true.

No, I don't believe providing 4K is a necessary expenditure for Elmbrook to make in order to attract home buyers to our district. It was obviously not considered a necessity for the 3 subdivisions petitioning Elmbrook last night, which is why I felt compelled to speak up at the School Board meeting.(Agenda items 3 D,E,F,G)

There I sat in an audience of about 20, listening to each women representing their subdivision pitch their plea to attach their homes to the Elmbrook School District. Naomi, the first speaker, representing the Black Forest, Summit Lawn, and southern edge of the Shire subdivisions, explained that others from their group were at the Waukesha School Board meeting petitioning for detachment.

She went on to say that of the 74 school age children in their area, the majority go to private school or to Elmbrook through open enrollment. I did remember that same statement being made at their last attempt to join the Elmbrook School District in 2009. She mentioned that they had petitioned Elmbrook before but were denied. Now their year cooling off period was over and they were trying again. Another woman named Jane then addressed the board; Maurene spoke for residents of Emerald Ridge. One of them mentioned they had been trying to get into Elmbrook for over 10 years.

Wow--10 years of trying to get into Elmbrook? It would have been simpler to just buy in Elmbrook, wouldn't it?

Then I noticed the pages of school districts with 4K in the packet of papers given to attendees. I was pretty sure Waukesha HAD 4K, but checked to verify. Sure enough, there on page 4A-8 Waukesha was listed as providing 4K.

So these 3 areas HAD 4K, but the parents chose to send the majority of their children either to private school or to Elmbrook that doesn't have 4K. Doesn't that say it all? I quickly filled out a request to speak. (FYI, the board unanimously approved these requests to join Elmbrook. This request must be approved by the state, however.)

There were 2 other speakers who chose to address the board before the 4K discussion began.

Nancy Kormanik, spoke against 4K, saying that taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for a program that isn't mandatory. Kormanik, I found out, was a teacher at MATC.

Betsy, the 2nd speaker, talked about 4K not being a new program, that her children had 4K in Wauwatosa, then moved into Elmbrook the following year and had a repeat in our 5K. Here parting words were If you are going to compete, you have to have 4 year old kindergarten. (She wasn't exactly an example of no 4K lowering property values, since she did move into our district the next year.) I couldn't ask for a better set up to speak.

Stating the obvious that isn't so obvious

This was very off the cuff; my address went something like this: I agreed 4K wasn't new; I had 4K! But I didn't choose to move to Shorewood (where I had 4K) but chose Brookfield instead. I also mentioned that we are told--even by a school board member--that 4K is necessary to protect our property values, yet we have 3 living examples of people living in subdivisions, in a district that HAS 4K, petitioning to join a district that DOES NOT HAVE 4K! What matters is the quality of an Elmbrook education.

Incidentally, Mequon-Thiensville School District outscored us with its 25.9 composite score, as did West High in the Madison School District, also with 25.9. Why do I mention them? Because neither of them have 4K.

Later in the discussion, Tom Gehl cautioned about increasing the number of non-resident students just to fill our vacant elementary space. He hinted that there was a correlation between Elmbrook slipping from its #1 status in (ACT) test scores and the number of non-residents.

Jean "Lambert said she believes money would be better spent bolstering outcomes at the higher grades in preparation for post-graduation than at the elementary school level."

I couldn't agree more. So, please Elmbrook, concentrate on the things that matter, the quality of your product which is education, and leave day care where it belongs, in the private sector.

Contact the board:
Elmbrook School Board:
President Tom Gehl gehlt@elmbrookschools.org
Meg Wartman wartmanm@elmbrookschools.org
Glen Allgaier allgaieg@elmbrookschools.org
Gary Jones jonesg@elmbrookschools.org
Jean Lambert lambertj@elmbrookschools.org
Kathryn Wilson wilsonk@elmbrookschools.org
Robert Ziegler zieglerr@elmbrookschools.org

Read more

4K: $222 million a year and growing! Call Elmbrook School Board & Gov. Walker

4-K, Elmbrook, Education, TAXES, WISCONSIN

That is right. In Wisconsin, 4K costs taxpayers $222,000,000 a year. And if the D.P.I. has its way, that number will be increasing after their 4K recruitment effort.

I just got off the phone with Senator Glenn Grothman's office. His assistant urged concerned Wisconsinites to CALL the Governor to defund 4K in his budget.* Governor Scott Walker (608) 266-1212 govgeneral@wisconsin.gov

Taking state funding for 4K out of Wisconsin's budget would mean local districts would fund the entire cost of their 4K programs--no more state aid.

At the local level, presently, our Elmbrook School District does not have a 4K program. But our school board may vote on whether or not to begin a 4K program for the 2011-2012 school year at their meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 22nd, at the Central Administration Office, 13780 Hope Street, at 6pm. Please contact the board about this issue. (Info below)

According to Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, the Governor's next budget will reduce the shared revenue the state pays out and cut the per pupil dollar amount given to local districts for each student enrolled. Hardly an incentive for adding new students to a new, unnecessary and ineffective program such as 4K.

Why do I say unnecessary and ineffective? Because like many other studies, Elmbrook's own internal study showed no difference in the achievement levels of 2nd grade students between children who went to Elmbrook's own pilot program 4K, those who attended private 4K, and those who had no 4K at all!

On top of all that, as one board member stated, the increase to Elmbrook's budget by starting a 4K program does not "make a significant impact" on the "overall budget shortfall". Remember Elmbrook School's budget increase is at Elmbrook TAXPAYER expense: "According to the district, taxes for the owner of a $300,000 home would increase by $34 for 2011-12, $66 for 2012-13, $97 for 2013-14 and $104 for 2014-15 if K4 is implemented." This would be at current state aid levels. If those levels are reduced, the cost for Elmbrook taxpayers would increase even more.

Combining the ineffectiveness of a 4K program, with that small financial gain to their budget , with the very real threat of decreasing state aids per pupil, makes voting against starting 4K in Elmbrook the only reasonable position. Contact the board.

*If defunding 4K doesn't make it into the Governor's February 22nd budget proposal, Senator Grothman will introduce defunding 4K in a stand alone bill.


Elmbrook School Board:
President Tom Gehl gehlt@elmbrookschools.org
Meg Wartman wartmanm@elmbrookschools.org
Glen Allgaier allgaieg@elmbrookschools.org
Gary Jones jonesg@elmbrookschools.org
Jean Lambert lambertj@elmbrookschools.org
Kathryn Wilson wilsonk@elmbrookschools.org
Robert Ziegler zieglerr@elmbrookschools.org

Residents split on K4.

Read more

Here we go again, Elmbrook board discussing 4K tonight, topic at 7pm

Elmbrook, TAXES, Education, 4-K

That's right. At tonight's Elmbrook school board meeting, they will be discussing adding 4K...again. The meeting starts at 6pm with the 4K agenda item at 7pm: Four Year Old Kindergarten - February 8, 2011 Discussion. It is imperative the board hear from you if you are against adding 4K to our district, because you can be sure those in favor of 4K will be there tonight. Please come if you are able, or you may email your comments to the board. The board is to decide on 4K at their Feb. 22nd meeting.

A pro-4K email has crossed my path. To quote: "It is crucial for the Board to hear our voices in support of 4K before the decision is made at February 22nd meeting. 4K has a real possibility of passing this time, but the Board members need to see a packed room and hear our comments..."

The email then gives a number of statistics that I question. One being the survey taken at polling places on November 2nd, where Voters were asked to state their position on closing a school, more non resident students, and adding 4K to close the budget gap. There was no explanation given that 4K would be increasing the Elmbrook budget by increasing our taxes!

The general public doesn't always understand that when the district talks about increasing revenue, it really means higher taxes*. "According to the district, taxes for the owner of a $300,000 home would increase by $34 for 2011-12, $66 for 2012-13, $97 for 2013-14 and $104 for 2014-15 if K4 is implemented."

From the district's own Dec. 7, 2010 work session minutes: "...staffing costs will rise if 4K is added--therefore address salary/benefit concerns before adding 4K."

The Elmbrook School Board voted against 4K in 2007. So what is different with the board we have today vs. the board we had in 2007 when they voted 4K down? We still have Tom Gehl, Meg Wartman, Gary Jones, Glen Allgaier who were NO 4K votes. Bob Ziegler is the only surviving Yes vote. Jean Lambert and Kathryn Wilson have replaced Dave Marcello, a No vote, and Cherry Sylla, a Yes vote.

Has the information on academic achievement changed since 2007? At the time, Meg Wartman even wondered if Elmbrook ever assessed the difference all day 5K made in achievement in Elmbrook.

Well, now we do have our own "data" as Eileen Depka refers to it on how our pilot 4K-ers, now in 2nd grade, do compared to Elmbrook students who did not attend 4K. From what I have heard, on average, they have not done as well as students who only attended 5K. (If they did do better, do you really think you wouldn't have heard more about it by now?) All I could find was this sentence from the Dec. 14, 2010 board meeting minutes, "Eileen Depka presented non standardized assessment data from the current second grade class, many of whom participated in the District’s 4K pilot."

The board meeting starts tonight at 6pm with the 4K discussion at 7pm. As I understand it, people may comment at the Citizen's Forum early in the meeting. Or submit your comments via email.

Contact the Elmbrook School Board:
President Tom Gehl gehlt@elmbrookschools.org
Meg Wartman wartmanm@elmbrookschools.org
Glen Allgaier allgaieg@elmbrookschools.org
Gary Jones jonesg@elmbrookschools.org
Jean Lambert lambertj@elmbrookschools.org
Kathryn Wilson wilsonk@elmbrookschools.org
Robert Ziegler zieglerr@elmbrookschools.org

More reading: *School closing decision put off til fall, Feb 1, 2011

Past Posts: 4-K: The Dog Chasing its Tail Oct. 8, 2007 (Revised) Revenues collected "...would, however, cost the taxpayers more money, because it would be funded primarily from increased property taxes. The district would be allowed to collect more taxes due to its increased enrollment."
Does 4K Deserve Tax Dollars? Nov. 10, 2007
Uncle Matt Wants You--if you are 4 years old Nov. 14, 2007
4K--It's About the Money Nov. 21, 2007
Public Schools: Safety Net or Drift Net? Nov. 23, 2007
4K Solving Budget Woes = Lucy Ricardo Math Nov. 26, 2007
Bet Room Will Be Packed With Pro 4K Tonight Nov. 27, 2007
4K Yellow Hands and Green Trees Nov. 27, 2007
4K Discontinued Despite Emotions & Irregularities Nov. 28, 2007

Read more

Elmbrook, what if Wisconsin defunds 4K?

4-K, Elmbrook, TAXES, WISCONSIN

Wisconsin changed from a very blue state to very red one last November, with the election of Republican Governor Scott Walker and a Republican majority in the Assembly and State Senate. And from all appearances, it seems we will no longer continue business as usual (or more accurately spending as usual) on government programs that don't work.

Our state is in a serious fiscal crisis, being $3 billion in the red, in this budget cycle. We must look at how we spend our money and then eliminate those line items that do not show benefit. Just because we have had a program in the past is no longer reason enough to continue that program.

One such program is 4K. State Senator Glenn Grothman has talked about defunding 4K several times in recent weeks. His reason? It doesn't work, and it is EXPENSIVE!

Grothman states:
"Recent studies have confirmed that any academic benefits of government funded preschool disappear by the fourth grade... Studies in Oklahoma, the state which has the model four-year-old program, show a decline in their fourth grade reading scores over the past eleven years, after benefits of their 4K programs should have been realized."(My emphasis)

Since 4K is one of the remedies being considered for Elmbrook's budget woes, it is important we consider the What if Wisconsin defunds 4K? before we rely on its curative powers for our budget.

The number of 4-year-olds in kindergarten has tripled in the last 10 years, and more school districts in our state are proposing it for this year. Last year alone, Grothman stated, "four-year-old kindergarten programs cost this state $140 million in state tax collections and cost local property taxpayers another $82 million." That adds up to $222 Million for a program that doesn't show long term educational benefit. And that is not FREE money, that money comes out of the taxpayers' pockets!

The Madison School District is starting a 4K program this year for an additional $10 Million, and other districts are considering it too. At present, 85% of Wisconsin school districts have a 4K program.

So why are these districts so gung ho on a program that doesn't work? Money. It is a school district budget funding tool.

In Campbellsport, for example, "The district receives an additional $423,000 in state aid for the 70 students enrolled. Cost to employ two teachers and two aides for the program is approximately $164,000." This doesn't reflect all the hidden costs of the program, but it does give you an idea of why 4K is so seductive.

Grothman writes: "For the past 15 years, Wisconsin has encouraged adopting four-year-old kindergarten by allowing school districts as much revenue authority for a four-year-old as they have for their more costly to educate high school students. "

But if there were no state revenue authority or funding for 4K, would Elmbrook still be casting an eye toward starting the program? I sincerely doubt it.

Our board will be discussing 4K and other budget enhancing options such as school closings and increasing non-resident enrollment very soon. I have heard we have our own study of how our pilot program 4K-ers perform, compared to Elmbrook students who didn't attend 4K.

Many of our board members are not in favor of 4K, but the make up of the board will be changing in April with Gary Jones stepping down and Kathryn Wilson up for reelection.

Please contact your representatives about this. Wisconsin and Elmbrook cannot afford to spend precious tax dollars on programs that don't work.

Elmbrook School Board Members

State Assembly:
Representative Dale Kooyenga, 14th Assembly District,
(608) 266-9180, Rep.Kooyenga@legis.wi.gov
Representative Paul Farrow, 98th Assembly District, (608) 266-5120 Rep.Farrow@legis.wi.gov

State Senate:
Senator Leah Vukmir, 5th Senate District,
(608) 266-2512 Sen.Vukmir@legis.wisconsin.gov
Senator Rich Zipperer, 33rd Senate District, (608) 266-9174 Sen.Zipperer@legis.wisconsin.gov

Governor Scott Walker (608) 266-1212 govgeneral@wisconsin.gov

More Reading: Time to Stop the Expansion of Four-year-old Kindergarten
Reason Foundation: Assessing Proposals for Preschool and Kindergarten
 

Read more

Weigh in on Elmbrook's budget, 4K & school closings this week & next - Clarification

4-K, Education, Elmbrook, TAXES

Clarification: Additional thoughts are noted in *blue with asterisks* .

Read more

Can't believe Elmbrook is entertaining 4K as budget fix

4-K, Elmbrook, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, Education

Last week, Elmbrook's Enrollment Management Study Team presented 2 of their 10 scenarios that would help fill the $16 Million dollar budget short fall over the next 5 years. The 2 recommendations they advanced each included adding 4K.

All I have to say to them is, Dorothy, we aren't in Kansas anymore! or more accurately, Elmbrook, the heyday of expanding the Empire by sending the bill to the taxpayers is over.

If you care about this issue, please note that the board will continue discussion of 4K and closings, etc. at their next meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 24th, 6pm.

But what happened to recommendation #3: Reduce to 5 elementary schools (assume closing of three section school in 2011-12), and recommendation 4: Reduce to 4 elementary schools (assume closing of 2 three section school in 2011-12)? Instead, the EMS Team settled on 2 options that both ADD 4K.

The introduction of the EMS Team's 2 4K recommendations opened discussion at the Board level last Tuesday. Now, just because the EMS Team brought these 2 recommendations to the Board does not mean the Board will go for them. Meg Wartman, Tom Gehl, Glen Allgaier, and Patrick Murphy voted against 4K in the last go round in 2007. Our board has changed since then. Murphy has retired; we have added Gary Jones, Jean Lambert, Kathryn Wilson since then. Wilson and Allgaier both indicated they were willing to look at school closings and were not enthusiastic about 4K during the 2010 pre-election forums.

The economic climate of our nation has drastically changed since November of 2007. For one, On January 1, 2011, the Bush tax cuts will expire. That means income tax rates will increase from 35 to 39.6% for top income tax payers. ("Two-thirds of all small business profits are taxed" at this rate.) Even the lowest bracket of 10% will rise to 15%. Don't forget the "return of the Death Tax" and the "higher tax rates on savers and investors" too--capitol gains and dividends taxes will increase dramatically.

These increases will affect all Elmbrook taxpayers in a negative way, and our school district EMS Team is suggesting we pay more, in order to add students so their budget numbers look better?

According to the July 13th Agenda Item 3A report, page 3, we get between $1,500-$2,000 per Open Enrollment student and $1,700 per 4K student. Keep in mind the actual cost per student in Elmbrook is around $12,000-$13,000 a year. (Half that amount for half day kindergarten student.)

A reader alerted me to the fact that the district would NOT conduct a 'baseline analysis' which would consist of sizing our schools to serve only resident students.

And speaking of resident students, one thing I have wondered for years is why do we still have New Berlin students included in the Elmbrook system when Lindfield, the Elmbrook neighborhood school they used to attend, was closed years ago? Students from south of Greenfield Ave. in New Berlin are still in Elmbrook's system even though their own New Berlin elementary school on Sunnyslope Rd. is far closer than sending them to Elmbrook's Swanson School. Maybe this is the time to finally size Elmbrook's schools to Elmbrook residents?

Can we please start looking at public education in the right light? The school district constantly talks about increasing their enrollment numbers like they were a business. During the last referendum discussion, they were asking how they could draw in that 25% or so of students who were either homeschooled or in private school. Why?

Oh, I know the reason, they are trying to increase THEIR budget, BUT their budget boost is at the literal expense of the taxpayers!

Their desire to increase their budget reminds me of the proverbial welfare mom who has more children to get more benefits but doesn't factor in that each child adds to her total expenses and demands more of her time. From an other government supplied service perspective, isn't it like our police looking at increasing the number of people they serve?

Providing "free" education for students is a costly SERVICE, not a money maker. Businesses don't look at ways to increase their work load; they look at ways to increase their efficiency and profit.

Unlike the private sector, each dollar the district receives is out of the pockets of the taxpayers, be it from residents in the nation, state, or school district.

In case you haven't noticed news articles on our economy, the R-word, for Recession, is gradually changing to the D-word, for Depression. We could be in for a long stretch of economic hardship. The nation is broke.

We are also in trouble at the state level. Wisconsin's budget will probably fall $2.5 Billion short by the end of its cycle. Add to that BadgerCare's "shortfall could reach $850 million". Just today we learn that Doyle's $200 Million Patient's Compensation Fund raid must be repaid. In other words, Wisconsin is broke.

And at the local level, the "proposed change to how schools are funded in the state could have a big - and negative - impact on the Elmbrook School District."

There are Elmbrook residents who are facing prolonged unemployment (over 18 months) and foreclosure.

So please, Elmbrook School District, could you look at CUTTING the size of your empire instead of EXPANDING it on the backs of your serfs?

Sorry for this long post, but this is an important issue we must speak up about. Let the board know your thoughts on adding an expensive 4K program--remember to be polite. The next board meeting is Tuesday, Aug. 24th, 6pm


Past Posts: 4-K: The Dog Chasing its Tail (Revised) Revenues collected "...would, however, cost the taxpayers more money, because it would be funded primarily from increased property taxes. The district would be allowed to collect more taxes due to its increased enrollment."
Does 4K Deserve Tax Dollars? Nov. 10, 2007
Uncle Matt Wants You--if you are 4 years old Nov. 14, 2007
4K--It's About the Money Nov. 21, 2007
Public Schools: Safety Net or Drift Net? Nov. 23, 2007
4K Solving Budget Woes = Lucy Ricardo Math Nov. 26, 2007
Bet Room Will Be Packed With Pro 4K Tonight Nov. 27, 2007
4K Yellow Hands and Green Trees Nov. 27, 2007
4K Discontinued Despite Emotions & Irregularities Nov. 28, 2007

Elmbrook Agenda Notes: May 11, 2010 Enrollment Management Study Team Update included 2 school closing/no 4K options
July 13, 2010 Enrollment Management Study Team Report on Team Recommendations and Findings includes tax credits per student

Articles: Elmbrook Urged to Close School, Bring Back 4K Moves would save district millions July 14, 2010
School Closure Called 'Last Resort' But candidates won't rule it out as a money-saving move March 17, 2010 pre-election article.
School Funding Plan Could Hurt July 7, 2010, "And since Elmbrook does not receive a great deal of state aid to begin with, putting the $900 million from the tax levy credit into funds distributed statewide likely would not have a significant impact in the district, Brightman said. "You'll be paying that much more in school taxes, but the district will receive zero revenue," he said."
 

Read more

Target Store at Plan Commission tonight, 4K Tuesday, Bike Race Friday

Education, City of Brookfield, Elmbrook, 4-K, Development, Special events, TAXES, Just for fun!

Alderman Lisa Mellone sent me the notice on the Target Store and Bike Race. A reader alerted me to the discussion of 4K at Elmbrook's School Board meeting.

Quebecor Target Store Project, Brookfield Plan Commission, 6pm tonight

"A concept review of the proposed Target Store development on the old Quebecor site is scheduled for this Monday, July 12th, 6pm in Council Chambers at City Hall. At this point the applicant is seeking feedback from the Plan Commission on the proposal at their meeting. "

This project has changed considerably from the former mixed use project, of housing and smaller retail, that fell through for the Quebecor site in 2007.

Even the original Ryan Cos proposal had a senior housing possibility, but that has changed too--at least from Ryan's perspective. JSOnline: Plan for new Brookfield Target on Blue Mound Road advance: "Ryan executives considered including senior apartments as part of the development. But that was dropped in favor of doing just retail, along with some expanded green space along the portions of the site that border N. Columbia Blvd. and Krueger Park... ...The green space would likely be donated to the city, the plan said."

Since Ryan Cos'. plan calls for a Target Store with grocery and a few other retail stores-- no housing--the City will have to revisit the plan to approve of the site being solely retail to move it forward.


Elmbrook School Board Meeting
, Tuesday, July 13, 6pm at Central Administrative Offices

The Enrollment Management Study Team will give a report on their findings. (Item 3A on Agenda) Suggestions include ADDING 4K, closing a school and ADDING 4K, and more. With the new school funding changes (not favorable to Elmbrook), I am sure we want to keep an eye on these suggestions!

School Funding Plan Could Hurt

State Schools Chief Proposes Revamp of Funding System



Cycling Classic Bike Race, July 16th, City of Brookfield Civic Center

This looks like fun. On Friday, July 16th, Brookfield's Civic Center roads will be closed to serve as the track for several bike races during the day! Events start at 9:30am and the last race begins at 5:45pm.

The Convention and Visitors Bureau was looking for volunteers to serve as race marshals. If you are interested in helping, contact Nancy Justman at 262-789-0220 or nancy@visitbrookfield.com

Additional information can be found at International Cycling Classic

Well, it is back to the grindstone for me, or more specifically, sanding Spackle in my kitchen.

Read more

4K spending high: 4th grade reading scores low

4-K, Education, Elmbrook, TAXES

I stumbled on this interesting bit from the Heritage Foundation: Oklahoma: High Marks for Pre-K Spending, Low Marks for Reading Achievement: (My emphasis throughout)

Read more

Elmbrook School Board candidates weigh in on 4K

4-K, Education, Elections, Elmbrook

Last week, the article K4 back on the table in Elmbrook on Brookfieldnow caused quite a stir. The way it was written, it led people to believe that 2 board members who previously voted against 4K were now thinking about it. The article was heavy on the positive effects of 4K on the school budget without much detail regarding the negatives to the taxpayer.

Read more

4K will continue to rear it's ugly head until spending is curtailed

4-K, Education, Elmbrook, TAXES

 http://www.brookfieldnow.com/news/41855257.html

K4 back on the table in Elmbrook

Read more

Of Bailouts and Bull, Friday 13th, ABC, 9pm & Prophecy Conference

4-K, Government / Bureaucracy, Religion, Special events

ABC's John Stossel is having a new special on government waste Friday night, on their weekly news show 20/20. It is entitled, Bailouts and Bull. I heard John talk a little about it today, and one of the subjects he will address is 4K or universal pre-school. It sounds like it will be interesting.

Read more

Elmbrook's 2008-09 enrollment decline affects 2009-10 budget

4-K, Elmbrook, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

Elmbrook enrollment down by 103 students, but no need to worry...now. "The state exempts districts from fluctuations in enrollment for one year."

Read more

4K out of the picture...for now

4-K, Education, Elmbrook

Lisa Sink reported that 4 year old kindergarten lacks support in Elmbrook. Am I breathing a little easier? 

Read more

I went to say, thank you, to Elmbrook School Board

4-K, Education, Elmbrook

Last night I stopped in at the Elmbrook School Board meeting to say, thank you, to the board. I had heard there might be a group of impassioned pro-4K parents making their pleas during the public forum time and thought a different point of view might be in order.

Read more

Say "No way 4K" at Elmbrook school board meeting Tuesday, Sept. 23, 7pm

4-K, Alert, City of Brookfield, Education, Elmbrook, TAXES

I almost missed this, but thanks to a reader, here it is: A group of pro 4K residents will be making an appeal to the school board this Tuesday during the Citizen's Forum time--first on the agenda.

Read more

Elmbrook 5K enrollement requirements + reading ideas

4-K, 5K, Education, Elmbrook, Family

My posting on Dr. Gibson flirts with 4K again to cure Elmbrook budget woes sparked a bit of a controversy regarding Elmbrook's 5K enrollment requirements in the comment section.

Read more

2 H.R. Bills: bad idea and co$tly- Education Begins at Home Act & Pre-K Act

4-K, Education, Family, Legislation

 http://www.hslda.org/docs/news/200809080.asp

“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’ ”
President Ronald Reagan

Read more

Dr. Gibson flirts with 4K again to cure Elmbrook's budget woes

4-K, Education, Elections, Elmbrook, H. Clinton 2008, Obama 2008, TAXES

Last night I caught a bit of the July school board meeting on cable TV*. The board was discussing Elmbrook's coming budget woes and the difficult decisions our district needs to make to keep our schools operating within budget. (Unfortunately, I missed at least the first half of the meeting, but I will watch again and take better notes.)

Read more

4K discussion reveals disturbing trend

4-K, Education, Elmbrook, Family, Homeschooling

Read more

4K discontinued despite emotions & irregularities

4-K, Elmbrook, TAXES

The room was packed; emotions ran high. Maybe 80 residents were in attendance? Judging from the Pro 4K-ers holding up little yellow "4K Yes" paper hands, they outnumbered those against maybe 5 to 1.  I thought to myself, Oh, this is going to be an emotion filled night. I was right. (My aside comments will be in parenthesis.)

Read more

4K FAILS!

4-K

 Allgaier, Murphy, Wartman, and Gehl vote NO

Read more

Bet room will be packed with pro 4K tonight

4-K, Elmbrook, TAXES

I hope you are planning to attend the school board meeting tonight. I am planning on being there. It will probably be a very late evening.

Read more

4K solving budget woes=Lucy Ricardo math

4-K, Elmbrook, TAXES

I know I pick on Lucy Ricardo of I Love Lucy fame from time to time, but no other character so easily embodies ridiculous thinking when it comes to money. Lucy Ricard math is: the reasoning process by which Lucy justifies a faulty fiscal policy in order to finagle what she wants out of Rickey.

Currently, some Elmbrook administrators and board members are engaging in what I call, Lucy Ricardo math by thinking that by boosting enrollment, we can ease our budget woes.

Read more

Public schools: safety net or drift net?

4-K, Education, Elmbrook, History, TAXES

Recently at a neighborhood party, a few of the moms were talking about school and the high cost of private school tuition. Two of them had their children enrolled in parochial elementary and high schools.

Read more

4K--It's about the money

4-K, Elmbrook, TAXES

There are a couple things to note in yesterday's Brookfieldnow article. The first is the subtitle: Few academic gains, tax costs are concerns

Read more

Speak up now: 4K vote next Tuesday

4-K, Elmbrook, TAXES

If you don't want the Elmbrook School District to implement a permanent 4K program, you better contact the board soon, or forever hold your peace. The board will vote on this next week Tuesday, Nov. 27.

Read more

Uncle Matt wants you--if you are 4 years old

4-K, Elmbrook, TAXES

If this picture and title seem a bit familiar, it is because I used it last April to discuss the district's desire to pull in every possible student--even if they were non-resident students. See: Uncle Matt wants you, even if it means we have to build bigger schools

Read more

Does 4K deserve tax dollars?

4-K, Elmbrook, TAXES

On November 27th,  Elmbrook's school board will decide the very important question of should we continue or discontinue 4K. We do not get to vote for or against it; our only opportunity to influence that decision is to contact the board members.

Read more

BIG NEWS! Elmbrook tells me they will be LISTENING!

4-K, Elmbrook, TAXES

It must be big news, Elmbrook sent out a special LINK* publication to tell me all about their two LISTENING SESSIONS coming up. 

Read more

Did you notice the 4-K increase?

4-K, Elmbrook

Ever notice that when government or our school district is selling an idea the estimated price is lower than the real price? They start out a program (think foot in the door) and just keep expanding it--forever.

Read more

Page Tools

Advertisement

Archives